Michael Isikoff says Eric Holder will be the Obama administration's Attorney General. Isikoff is a well-sourced fellow, but I still take this with a large grain of salt -- and urge you to do the same -- as the Newsweek macher also mentions that Holder has not been vetted yet, and a lot can happen during that process. Others close to the transition team say to be cautious, and the transition itself has no comment.
But, let's consider the facts. Holder has been on everyone's radar for the position, as he's got the experience (Clinton Deputy AG, appointed a Judge by Ronald Reagan), the private practice chops (Covington & Burling partner) and the Obama loyalty -- he headed, along with Caroline Kennedy, Obama's Vice-Presidential search, arguably one of the most successful parts of the presidential campaign.
Drawbacks? Well, Holder did play a minor negative role in the controversial Marc Rich pardon situation, but reports suggest that's a sin of omission rather than commission. Which, admittedly, will not prevent Senate Republicans from going off on the topic during his confirmation hearings.
Benefits? Most important, Holder seems like he would do a good job in the position; Dylan Matthews notes via e-mail that he's a strong opponent of torture and other Bush administration overreaches. It's a prominent position for an African-American in the cabinet. And it frees up other potential Attorney General nominees, specifically Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano and Alabama Representative Artur Davis, for either another cabinet post (Napolitano is also mentioned for Homeland Security) or, more likely at this point, running for Senate (or maybe Governor, in Davis' case) in their respective states in 2010, continuing to deepen the Democratic bench and improve the Senate majority.
What do you all think about Holder?
-- Tim Fernholz